Meet the Advisory Board

The MIT Camp Kesem Advisory Board works behind the scenes to help the staff prepare and run camp. We’re very excited to introduce you to our wonderful advisory board for Camp Kesem MIT 2014.

Advisory Board

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Dhruv Parthasarathy

Hi! I’m a graduate from MIT ’13 in Computer Science in Math. However, without a doubt my biggest learning happened during my four years at Camp Kesem. At Camp, I took on a huge variety of roles such as regular camp counselor, teen counselor, Admin and Camp Programming coordinator, Teen coordinator, and LIT Unit Leader. Each one taught me something different and I know that these experiences have had an enormous impact in shaping who I am today. I’m currently at MIT pursuing my Masters in Computer Science!

 

Hamsika Chandrasekar

Hamsika Chandrasekar is a first-year medical student at Stanford Medical School and has been involved with Camp Kesem MIT since her freshman year of college, first as a counselor, then as a coordinator, and finally as a cochair. She is excited to stay involved and see the chapter grow to serve even more campers in the Boston/New England area.

 

Ram Venkateswaran

Ram is currently a first year medical student at Harvard Medical School. He was involved with Camp Kesem since his freshman year at MIT, and loved every minute of planning and experiencing camp. His camp name is Pi- both the number and the character :)

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Kenny Lam

Kenny (Scooby) is a current graduate student at MIT in Computer Science. He has been involved in Camp Kesem since 2011, and has been a counselor, Fundraising coordinator, and PR coordinator.

 

Devin Cela

Ash Ketchum (real person name Devin Cela) graduated in 2013 with a physics degree, and is currently pursuing a PhD at UCSD. He spent four years as a counselor, with three as a Teen Coordinator. He looks forward to being involved with CK at both UCSD and MIT!

Albert Kao

Albert Kao is a first year consultant at Deloitte. He has been involved with CK MIT since freshman year. You can also call him ‘Panda.’

Anjali Thakkar

Anjali is a first-year student at the Harvard Medical School, and graduated from MIT in June 2012 with a dual degree in Biology and Materials Science & Engineering. She hopes to apply her training towards a career in global health, advocating for low-income communities around the world. She absolutely loved her experience as a Camp Kesem counselor, and looks forward to contributing as an Advisory Board member!

Bonny Kellerman

Bonny Kellermann graduated from MIT in 1972 with an S.B. in Political Science and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago. She has worked at MIT since 1974 holding positions of Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Associate Director of Admissions and Director of the Educational Council, Associate Registrar, Recording Secretary, and currently serves as Director of Special Constituencies in Resource Development, where she focuses on support to families who wish to direct memorial gifts to MIT and programs for those who have made provisions for gifts to come to MIT after their lifetimes through bequests and planned gifts. She is also an avid figure skater, and has been teaching figure skating in MIT’s Phys. Ed. program for over 40 years, and has competed nationally on a synchronized skating team, winning the National Championship 8 times.

Caroline Huang

Caroline “Congo” Huang is a Public Health PhD candidate at the University of Oxford, where she researches ethical issues surrounding access to care for breast cancer gene mutations and holds a Rhodes Scholarship. She founded CK MIT as a freshman in fall 2006 and served as a three-year co-chair before graduating with a degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 2010. She was recently named to the Legacy Circle, an honor reserved for 11 of CK’s 4,100 alumni nationwide, in recognition of her work with CK MIT and as a CK National intern, National Student Advisory Board co-chair, Florida and UPenn camp advisor, and CK Alumni Association coordinator.

Chris Naidus

Chris Naidus is a corporate attorney at Feinberg Hanson LLP in Wellesley, Massachusetts. While in college, he served as a counselor and coordinator for the very first Camp Kesem sessions at the University of Notre Dame, where he also helped launch the school’s first CK Teen retreat.

Christina Bognet

Christina Bognet (aka Babby) graduated from MIT in 2010 with a degree in neuroscience and writing. She was a Camper Care and Major Events coordinator at CK MIT and served as a national advisor for Camp Kesem at UVA in 2011. She is currently founding a startup in the health and wellness space in Cambridge. (September 2012 Bio)

Daniel Jang

Daniel Jang, also known as Stitch, has had the privilege of being a counselor for Camp Kesem MIT for the past 6 years and love seeing it continue to grow and become such a strong community. After finishing his graduate work in 2012, he is working in Lexington and looks forward to continual involvement with CK MIT.

Diane Legg

Diane Legg is the co-chair of the New England Chapter of Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), a voluntary position. Diane was diagnosed with non small cell lung cancer 8 years ago at the age of 42. The mother of 3 young boys, now 16, 14, and 9, she has dedicated much of the last 7 years educating people, and advocating for more research and an early detection screening protocol for lung cancer. She organized the first “Shine a Light on Lung Cancer” Vigil in Boston six years ago, which has now become an international event. Diane, along with her fellow New England LCA advocates, educates federal and state legislators on the urgency for funding lung cancer research and an early detection protocol while raising awareness of the profound public health impact of lung cancer. In 2011, Diane and her husband, David, founded LUNGstrong Inc., a non-profit that funds innovative lung cancer research. Diane recently left a 25 year career in industrial sales & marketing to concentrate on lung cancer advocacy. Diane lives in Amesbury, MA, with her husband, David, and her 3 sons, Dean, Cole, and Will.

Eli Van Allen

Eliezer Van Allen, MD, is a medical oncology fellow at the Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care program. He has been involved with Camp Kesem since it’s inception in 2001 at Stanford University, and also co-founded Camp Kesem-UCLA in 2004.

Gary Brennan

I am a single father of 15 year old son and 10 year old daughter. The children lost their mother in April 2008 and we have made a lot of adjustments and sacrifices. Luckily we have a lot of support from our family. I sent them on a bus from MIT in the summer of 2008, four months after Cindy passed away, they were 6 and 10! I was a little anxious and nervous, probably more than them. I couldn’t believe their faces when I picked them up. Every year after that, they can not wait to go. I tell everyone about Camp Kesem and the great work they do.
I work in Bellingham, MA as a plant engineer. My company makes a big donation every year.

Jennifer Holzer

My Name is Jen Holzer and I am a widow with one son. He is a 5 year camper at Camp Kesem and hopes to one day be a counselor!

Kathryn Barbash

Kathryn Barbash, PsyD is a licensed child and adolescent psychologist at Wediko Children’s Services in Boston, MA. Kathryn was a member of Camp Kesem at University of California, San Diego during her undergraduate years and worked with MIT in the first years of their camp.

Kevin Rustagi

Mango (Kevin Rustagi) is a recent MIT alum (2011) who loves CK, and has been fortunate enough to help out since year 2 (2008). He was a part of the team that got the Teen Program going, and is excited to see it rocking still. Professionally, he is a designer and entrepreneur working on cool consumer products before heading out to California for business school in 2014. He is so excited to be helping out with CK MIT and watching it continue to grow and flourish, helping campers, families, and student leaders.

Melinda Hillock

As a seven years in remission cancer survivor, I have the wonderful opportunity to mother Python. He has been to Camp Kesem for four years and his goal is to attend every year until age 18 at the “best camp ever”. Melinda Hillock, LICSW advisory board member, mother, and licensed social worker

Nathaniel Lamkin

Nate received his Master of Science from the Columbia University School of Social Work in 2000 and has since practiced in multiple Hospice, Palliative Care, and Oncology settings providing counseling and emotional support to pediatric and adult patients and their families. In addition to his clinical expertise Nate has previously served as a Hospice Executive Director and Manager for the Social Work department at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and he facilitates bereavement support groups and leads workshops on end-of-life topics. Nate has been on the Advisory Board for CK-MIT since 2009 and serves as the on-site therapist for Camp where he goes by the Camp name “Matrix”. (September 2012 Bio)

Paula Alberghini

Paula Alberghini is a middle school teacher, wife of a cancer survivor and mom to 2 children who have attended Camp Kesem for four years.

Semmie Kim

Semmie “Peachy” Kim (MIT ’10) is currently working in clinical research at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Department of Psychiatry. She has been involved with Camp Kesem at MIT since the chapter was founded in 2006, first serving as a counselor, then a Camper Care Coordinator, and finally, Co-Chair.

Sumi Sinha

Hello! I’m Zoom Zoom, MIT Class of 2012. I am originally from New Hampshire though I am currently living in Cambridge, MA. My favorite things about camp include the infinite number of hugs per day, sun-butter and jelly sandwiches, and star gazing in the open field. So many of my favorite memories are camp memories; I can’t wait to help make some more magic on the advisory board!

Vidya Eswaran

Vidya Eswaran is currently a medical student at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. She is a former counselor (’09, ’10, ’11), camper care coordinator and co-chair and is looking forward to helping CK MIT continue to grow in any way she can.

Xiahong Yang

Xiaohong Helena Yang is a Senior Editor and Editorial Development Adviser at Cell Press. She has been involved with Camp Kesem since 2008.

Yun Xue

Yun Xue is a first-year medical student at Harvard Medical School. She has been involved with CK MIT since her sophomore year at MIT and is very excited to be able to continue to see camp grow better each year as an advisory board member.

Ron Furman

Ron is Chief Operating Officer for American Camp And Work Experience, a U.S. Department of State Designated Sponsor for several J1 Visa programs, which provides consulting and International students for Summer camps and other seasonal employers around the United States. He has a BS in Business Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MBA from UMass/Amherst. He has extensive experience as an executive in the hospitality industry with an emphasis on CRM, multi-site operations, contract/vendor management, project management, team development/training and strategic business planning. Ron resides in Massachusetts with his wife and 2 children, both of whom have attended Camp Kesem.

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Theresa Masnik

Theresa Masnik is a public relations professional at Racepoint Group in Boston. Theresa plays an integral role in developing and implementing both traditional and digital media relationships for all of her healthcare and life science clients.  A graduate from Roger Williams University, Theresa worked in the Rhode Island communications/marketing department at the American Cancer Society and a public relations agency in Providence. Theresa coordinated and managed an extensive program for the American Cancer Society’s Camp Hope, a free camp for children who have or had cancer, and their siblings. She’s looking forward to joining the advisory board and to offer her skills and background to Camp Kesem MIT!

Cindy Moore

Cindy Moore, Ph.D. is a Child Psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School.  She earned a Bachelors degree from Cornell University and completed her graduate work at the University of Virginia. She is currently the Associate Director of the Parenting at a Challenging Time (PACT) program at MGH, where she provides parent-guidance consultations to Cancer Center patients who have school-age or young adult children, focused on supporting children’s coping through all stages of a parent’s cancer survivorship. As well, she provides individual psychotherapy to children and adults through the Psychiatry Department. An interest in working with bereaved individuals grew out of her experience with PACT, and she is currently a co-investigator on a study of optimizing the treatment of complicated grief.

Hannah Rutherford

Hannah Rutherford

I am from Tampa, Florida – I have been in band and played clarinet since I was in sixth grade, so they aptly named me Treble :) . I majored in Biology, with minors in Music and Chemistry, at Duke University (Class of 2013). I will be earning my one-year Master of Science degree from BU in Applied Anatomy & Human Physiology, then Medical School (not sure where yet!). I will bring experience, enthusiasm, and compassion to CK MIT – I absolutely loved being a volunteer counselor for Camp Kesem North Carolina in summer 2012 and have stayed involved in Camp Kesem events ever since. Those kids were my heroes and have impacted my life.. this is an incredible organization and I’m honored to be part of an experience that was more than I could have ever expected, in many facets.

Yu Zhong

Yu Zhong is a principle research engineer at BAE systems. She has been on the advisory board since 2009.